The Bronze Age refers to a period in history, during which much cultural development occurred. It is noted as the era during which bronze and copper were used extensively to make weapons and other important tools. During this period, trade and commerce grew extensively as a result of the rapid use of tools made from bronze. Workers were needed to mine the ore, the smelting of the ore required many tradesmen, craftsmen, and artisans were needed to mold the ore and in finalizing goods and tools made from the mold.
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The invention of the two-wheeled, horse-drawn chariot was an important aspect of civilization that occurred during the Bronze Age. This coupled with more advanced tool-making techniques led to the advancement of military strategies as the chariots were exceedingly stronger and mobile than previous carts. This was an added advantage, especially during warfare. In Mesopotamia, commonly referred to as the cradle of civilization, the land was under the leadership of the Akkadian, Sumer, Babylonian, and Assyrian Empires during the Bronze Age.
During the Bronze Age, competing city-states were converted into one regional state and political power was changed with the establishment of the first functional Empire. All trade contacts were centralized and the newly established city of Akkad became the trade center. It was during this period when a Semitic language known as Akkadian replaced Sumerian, the earliest written language in Mesopotamia. However, the Sumerian language was retained for literally, administration scientific and religious purposes. It is during this period when writing was developed from pictographic form, leading to the production of great literature.
The use of written orders as a point of reference for the centralized government was also an important aspect of civilization in Mesopotamia during the Bronze Age. As a leader, Sargon was able to change the administrative level. To ensure that his reign succeeded, he appointed members of his family to an important leadership position. He was able to form the first professional army of 5400 men. It was during the reign of Sargon that the system of naming years was developed, with eponym and the regnal system being the first system in use. The development of infrastructures like roads and regular postal service was an important milestone during the reign of Sargon. Clay seals bearing the name of Sargon and his sons were used as letter stamps.
The power struggle between the city-states which were led by priests and city patron deities, on one hand, and the central government resulted in the deification of human beings, with Naram Sin becoming the first king to be idolized. This was a gesture of self-glorification seen by many as a political act made purposely to overrule the city priest.
During the Bronze Age, commerce and trade increased. Donkeys were used to transport metals and rare material from the west and east of Mesopotamia. These goods would later be loaded into boats for transportation to cities in the south. A commercial colony was established in Anatolia. It is from this point that silver was exchanged with Iranian tin and cloth. Great cities such as Echnunna, Shuruppak, and Erech were founded.
During the third dynasty of Ur, state-run projects were established. Agriculture was centralized and an elaborate irrigation system was introduced. The king rallied a large labor force to work in agriculture especially during sowing, irrigation, and harvesting. The State took over the running of textile industries. Merchants were employed by State to run commercial activities through the barter trade system. It was during the same period that a weighing system was established to facilitate trading. Another important aspect of the Bronze Age was the introduction of coins made of gold, copper, silver, and bronze.
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Bronze Age refers to the historical era during which bronze was extensively used to make important tools and weapons. It was during this period when commerce and trade grew as a result of extensive use of tools made from bronze. In Mesopotamia, many events took place, contributing to civilization during this era. Some of the important aspects of civilization that took place during the Bronze Age include; the invention of horse-drawn, two-wheel chariot, the conversion of city-states into one empire, the centralization of trade centers, formation of the first professional army, Increase in trade and commerce, the introduction of the weighing system and deification of human beings especially the kings as for political reasons.
D, Brendan Nagle (2005) A social and Cultural History, Prentice Hall Publishers, New Jersey.